Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

No, Do Not Roast Marshmallows Over Hawaii’s Erupting Volcano, Says USGS

No, Do Not Roast Marshmallows Over Hawaii’s Erupting Volcano, Says USGS

Volcanic gases rise from the Kilauea lava flow that crossed Pohoiki Road near Highway 132, near Pahoa, Hawaii, U.S., May 28, 2018. "Assuming you had a long enough stick, that is", Vermont resident Jay Furr wrote in a message to the USGS volcanoes account.

They said: "We really want to go back and give back a little of that kindness".

"When hot lava buries plants and shrubs, methane gas is produced as a byproduct of burning vegetation", the USGS said.

The USGS took time out of providing updates on volcanic activity to point out that marshmallows roasted over volcanic vents would also taste bad.

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Vigorous fountaining of lava at one fissure blew strands of volcanic glass known as Pele's hair into the air.

Besides, adding sulfuric acid to sugar makes for what the USGS cryptically described as "a pretty spectacular reaction".

Molten rock from several lava-spewing fissures opened by Kilauea Volcano crept toward clusters of homes and vacation rentals on the eastern tip of Hawaii's Big Island on Wednesday, as authorities ushered residents from the area as a precaution.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists have observed what are called pyrocumulus clouds, which could possibly turn unstable and cause thunderstorms, over the Kilauea fissure system in Leilani Estates.

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Lava has engulfed the heads of two wells that tap into steam and gas deep into the Earth at the 38-megawatt Puna Geothermal Venture electrical plant, which used to produce a quarter of the Big Island's electricity.

Hawaii County officials said lava destroyed the electric utility's equipment on the highway, which knocked out power to Vacationland and Kapoho Beach.

Operator Ormat Technologies Inc last week said there was no above-ground damage to the plant but it would have to wait until the situation stabilised to assess the impact of earthquakes and subterranean lava flows on the wells.

The sole reported serious injury from the eruption so far came when a man was hit by flying lava.

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With its red-hot rivers of lava have destroyed dozens of homes on Hawaii's Big Island, with 2,000 people being told to leave their properties.

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